Blackboard Inc., a global leader in education technology, yesterday announced the introduction of instant messaging (IM) to its flagship Blackboard Learn platform. This important enhancement is accomplished through a partnership with Wimba Inc. to bring secure, education-focused instant messaging to all institutions using Blackboard Learn worldwide at no extra cost.
Blackboard Learn now includes the only instant messenger designed specifically for educational use. User profiles are pre-populated with class rosters, courses and organizations, eliminating the need to collect IM addresses. The service meets data protection requirements applicable to many educational institutions, is accessible, and enables communication between institutions to help bring the global education community together.
To bring this education-focused IM technology to its global client base, Blackboard will make available Wimba Pronto Basic, one of Wimba's existing IM offerings, which is already in use at more than 400 institutions. The service is provided as a software as a service (SaaS) offering, is highly scalable, reliable and feature rich.
Wimba Pronto Basic is currently available at Blackboard’s client download site, Behind the Blackboard, to all Blackboard Learn education, government and professional organizations globally, as long as they activate the service within three years. The service is available to clients running Releases 7, 8 and 9 of Blackboard Learn as well as WebCT CE6 and Vista clients.